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Help: Thinking About Buying a First Motorcycle.

 
 
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 02:39 pm
So, I'm thinking about buying a motorcycle for local transit. I don't think I'd ever do any long distances with it.

I've never owned, or driven a motorcycle.

The chicken or the egg: Do I buy a motorcycle before or after getting a license?

From what I've read, I shouldn't dare go above 500cc. Also, any tips on what type is best would be great. As I understand different types of bikes will be more expensive in terms of insurance. Go to a dealer? Craig's List?

I'm looking for some help. Any and all experience will be helpful.

Thank A2K!
K
O
 
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 02:55 pm
I had one in MA thirty years ago, so this is likely not current, and oth er states may be different. You can't drive one without a license, generally. But when i got a motorcycle license, I didn't have to take a road test. That may only apply if you have a regular driving license for a car. So get the license first. Saw a road test for the redesigned Kawasaki Ninja 250, new $3500, which looked like a really good value entry-level bike, if I didn't think I would kill myself if I started riding again. Had one of those full-head helmets, which made me feel more enclosed than riding in a car, because my head was in this little prison of sorts, even if the rest of me was out in the air, so it just wasn't the experience of freedom I was kind of expecting. But it's either that or higherr risk of brain injury.

4
0 Replies
 
Deckland
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 02:55 pm
@Diest TKO,
Diest TKO wrote:

So, I'm thinking about buying a motorcycle for local transit. I don't think I'd ever do any long distances with it.

I've never owned, or driven a motorcycle.

The chicken or the egg: Do I buy a motorcycle before or after getting a license?

From what I've read, I shouldn't dare go above 500cc. Also, any tips on what type is best would be great. As I understand different types of bikes will be more expensive in terms of insurance. Go to a dealer? Craig's List?

I'm looking for some help. Any and all experience will be helpful.

Thank A2K!
K
O
For local transit, have you considered a scooter ?
Automatic transmission, cheap to run, not much parking space required.
They are easier to learn to ride. Just a suggestion.
Cheers, Deckland.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 02:59 pm
Scooters are a good idea. In MA you can run one 50cc or under (I think; unsure about the displacement) without a license. It'll give you an idea whether or not you like it. Moped-style ones, rather than Vespa-style ones, are kinda like a little motorcycle, i.e. you ride it like a bike, rather than like sitting on a motorized chair.
0 Replies
 
Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 03:02 pm
I'd love a scooter, but I have to ride some major HWYs to work. You've heard of the infamous DC Beltway perhaps?

I need something with some pickupandgo.

T
K
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Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 03:05 pm
learn to ride one just a bit before you buy one.

(friends, used bike dealers, someone to show you the ropes, and mebbe let you use it to take your test)

(the test is easiest on a verra small bike, in Kansas it is cones in a parking lot)

I agree you need a little one until you get used to riding.

have fun...

(you will probably spill it at least once as you learn, a used bike is much less painful to scrape up...)
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 03:15 pm
vespa 250
0 Replies
 
Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 03:20 pm
Thoughts on buying a used Suzuki GZ 250 or a Honda Rebel (similar)?

http://img387.imageshack.us/img387/3172/gz250silvernd3.jpg

T
K
O
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 03:51 pm
There are learn-to-ride schools just like there are driving schools. Might be a good idea to get a formal grounding, since there are dangers specific to bikes and handling characteristics specific to them that you're less likely to pick up from a friend or from learning on your own. For one, defensive driving is more important on a bike/
0 Replies
 
Nick Ashley
 
  2  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 04:10 pm
Take a MSF class

In one weekend they teach you all you need to know, and they provide bikes so you can dump them once or twice and not wreck a nice new bike. Plus, many insurance companies will give you cheaper rates if you take the course, and the course counts as a road test, so you can take your course certificate to the DMV and walk away with a license.

As for bikes, I ride a ninja 250 and love it. It does just fine going 80mph on the interstate, and has plenty of get up and go. Also, I get 55+ mpg without even trying. Driving conservatively, that number can get in the 80s.

Having a bike 250ccs or under also means cheaper insurance.
Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 04:18 pm
@Nick Ashley,
Thanks Nick!
K
O
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 08:17 pm
Get a used mid-sized bike, something about 10 years old, as you will dump it!

250 cc's is a bit small for highway and two-up. Example: a used Suzuki GS will cost way less than a new 250. Avoid bikes with bodywork (ie fairings etc.) as it's expensive to replace when you dump the bike......yes you'll dump it.

My wife started on a Kawasaki KZ 440 and she's in her mid 50's............me I've been riding for 40 years I and run a 2004 Honda VFR ABS.
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Sun 3 May, 2009 06:01 pm
@Chumly,
Chumly wrote:

Get a used mid-sized bike, something about 10 years old, as you will dump it!

During my military days, I was the ship safety officer and had to take this safety course about all the stupid things 18 year old guys with extra cash do. Here was the motorcycle stat that caught my attention. 95% of riders who registered with the base (required to bring the bike on site) had an accident in the first six months. I thought "no way", so I started asking around and sure enough, everyone who rode had dumped their bikes. My brother went over the hood of a car that pulled out from a stop sign in front of him. A chief petty officer who worked for me went over an embankment and was killed.

Take that safety course and learn how to ride in a safe, contained environment.
0 Replies
 
Deckland
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 May, 2009 01:28 am
@Diest TKO,
Diest TKO wrote:

I'd love a scooter, but I have to ride some major HWYs to work. You've heard of the infamous DC Beltway perhaps?

I need something with some pickupandgo.

T
K
O

At one time I owned a Suzuki 650 Burgman Scooter.
It sure had pickup and go. Was at the time the worlds most powerful
scooter. Might still be. Had heaps of room under the seat, good fuel
economy and an electronic controlled transmission.
Excellent machine for city or highway.
Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jul, 2009 04:31 pm
So update...

I have enrolled in a motorcycle safety course for next weekend. It is three days long and it will also count as my drivers test. Bikes, helmets, and gloves are provided. I will be learning on a Honda Rebel 250.

Coupled with that, I found a bike through a coworker. A 2008 Kawasaki Ninja 250. I figure it's a good learner bike, and I won't be able to beat the price they are offering. Only 700 miles on it and it has never been wrecked. The guy at the motorcycle shop by my apartment said that when I'm ready to upgrade to a 600cc bike, he'll offer me good trade in for the bike since the ninja 250s sell so well. I might make money on that transaction even.

So I'll ride and learn and when I'm ready, I'll move up. I'm excited... but cautious.

T
K
O
Intrepid
 
  3  
Reply Thu 23 Jul, 2009 05:06 pm
@Diest TKO,
I am glad that you are taking the safety course. My son wanted a motorcycle when he was 16. I figured he would forget about it when I told him he would have to take a motorcycle course before I would even consider it.

He ended up with a Suzuki. He proceeded to speed all over the place and finally realized that going fast on the streets was not a good idea. He took racing courses and got his racing licence. Did very well as an amateur and advanced to the professional circuit where he won rookie of the year.

He raced all over Canada and the U.S. and, I must admit, I was proud to see him on television racing at Daytona.

His worst injuries were torn ligaments and the loss of a little finger. All this because he wanted to ride a motorcycle.

He retired from racing when he had a family and does not ride to this day. He says the roads are too dangerous.

He raced 600, 750 and Superbike.

Keep your feet on the pegs and the wheels on the road.
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jul, 2009 10:28 pm
@Deckland,
My wife has the 400 cc Suzuki Burgman Scooter, I like it a lot as it's got great weather protection and storage, and is plenty quick enough for the highway.
0 Replies
 
Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jul, 2009 10:43 pm
@Intrepid,
Intrepid wrote:
Keep your feet on the pegs and the wheels on the road.

Yes sir, I intend to.

T
K
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Sglass
 
  2  
Reply Fri 24 Jul, 2009 12:58 am
@Diest TKO,
Don't want to sound like a killjoy but MA and I were eyewitnesses to two fatal motorcycle accidents in the past month. At the moment I have an image in my head of one of the accidents. The man on the motorcycle was engulfed in flames, and then it exploded killing the man and his son.

The other accident was a man thrown from his machine. I made eye contact with him as we drove past. He later died at Hilo hospital.

I like motorcycles too, but they can be dangerous.

Be careful my friend.

0 Replies
 
Deckland
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jul, 2009 02:47 am
@Diest TKO,
Good for you ! Make the most of the course and enjoy your motorcycle when you get one. There is almost nothing like the freedom of 2 wheels .. or in some cases 3 wheels.
Cheers Deckland.
 

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